Hospitality House wants to open its doors to pet owners
What: Hospitality House
Where: 1262 Sutton Way, Grass Valley
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct an error. Hospitality House has been assisting people with substance abuse issues by allowing them access to the Utah’s Place shelter since February. The Union regrets the error.
Hospitality House currently does not accept pet owners, and only earlier this year allowed access to the shelter for those who aren’t sober.
But in an attempt to lead with their concept of “radical inclusivity,” it wants to allow homeless people with pets to receive help the nonprofit can provide.
Hospitality House is hoping to raise $30,000 to open its new outreach dorm to cat and dog owners.
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In order to open a space to pet owners, the nonprofit needs to be able to provide food, veterinary care, neutering services, wellness checks and more for the animals.
“It’s the first time we’ve ever done it,” said Hospitality House Development Director Ashley Quadros, later adding, “We don’t want to be negligent in our care.”
The nonprofit is partnering with several animal nonprofits and veterinarians, including Pine Creek Veterinary Clinic.
In surveying 50 homeless animal owners, the nonprofit’s program manager Isaias Acosta said 38 people indicated they’d use its new dorm facility if their pets were welcomed. The dorm is separated from the rest of Hospitality House’s infrastructure. It includes an open space with plain walls, a number of beds and a restroom.
“Our goal first and foremost is to care for people,” said Quadros.
The pet program could launch as early as November if the nonprofit is able to raise enough money.
“Pet owners may be clean and sober or struggling with addiction or related mental health when they come in — we won’t know for certain unless we can launch the program with the community’s help,” said Quadros.
It’s the hope of Hospitality House that by including more people in its care, individuals more quickly reach places of stability.
Hospitality House originally thought of establishing a kennel for animals, but reconsidered after realizing pet owners don’t want to be removed from their pets. Additionally, most of the animals in question are unaccustomed to staying in a kennel, Acosta said.
In the new space, dogs or cats can stay below or on a bed with their owner.
“It’s all about ensuring their comfort,” said Quadros.
It’s particularly important for Hospitality House to open the dorm to animal owners by November since it’s before the colder weather sweeps in, said Quadros.
But even if it can open in two months’ time, the program will have to annually raise funds to provide pet owners shelter. It’s unknown how much annual upkeep will cost.
Nonprofit employees like Quadros are hoping the amount they need to raise, whatever it is, declines in the coming years.
It’s been her job to ask people: “Would you like to help people come out of the woods and get help?”
To contact Staff Writer Sam Corey email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4219.
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